Traveling Salseros

My wife and I are two full-time engineers, currently based in Gainesville, FL, with a passion for dancing, traveling, and really cool travel gear!

Whenever we’re not working we love to use any vacation days or long weekends that we have to travel to different countries and dance salsa. These passions were the original inspiration for the Traveling Salseros Youtube channel and website, but I found that I enjoyed reviewing bags and other gear just as much so I ended up focusing on that more.

I (Danny), have always been obsessed with bags. The best part of any new school year was always deciding which backpack to get and my friends would always laugh when i would stop random people on the street to ask what type of bag they were wearing. I finally decided to start reviewing bags on youtube when there were a few bags that I really wanted to see reviews for, but there were none available so I decided to purchase the bags on my own and film a review myself in case there were other people who were equally curious about the same bags. After that I decided to start filming reviews for all the bags i was curious about.

What kind of bags do you review?

I review many different types of bags, but I focus mostly on travel, edc, and office friendly backpacks. I like to review bags from all types of companies whether its bigger companies that have been around for a while (such as Incase or Timbuk2) or newer companies that have been born on Amazon or Kickstarter (Aer, Nomatic, etc). I also like to find budget friendly alternatives to popular brands since I know there are many people who can’t or don’t want to spend too much on a bag and I want to be able to help them find something that is affordable, but still good.

I posted my first Youtube review for a bag (Incase Tracto Split Duffel) in March 2017 and since then I have done video reviews for about 43 bags, but I have used many, many more throughout my life.

When I first started the reviews I would purchase most of the bags on my own. If there was something I really didn’t like about the bag I would return it, but many times I either kept it (my apartment is literally exploding with bags) or I tried to sell on eBay to finance the purchase of the next bag I wanted to review. After I had done a few videos, I started reaching out to different companies that I was interested in to see if they had any review units they would want to have featured on the channel.

Now that the channel has grown a little bit there have been some more companies reaching out with requests for reviews (which is incredibly helpful) and if there is something that I see a lot of people asking for or there is a bag that I am really anxious to try out I will still purchase it on my own if I am unable to get a review unit from the company. I typically find out about new bags either from big blogs (such as Carryology), other popular Youtube reviewers (Bo Ismono and Chase Reeves have been big inspirations for me), joining the mailing lists for the companies that I am a big fan of, and also just paying attention to the ads that are getting served up to me on social media (it’s a little scary how accurate the ads for my taste in bags at this point haha).

How do you review the bags?

I try to keep my review process as consistent as possible and the majority of the reviews fall into the travel or daily backpack category. For travel bags, I always pack the bags out with the same items i take with me on any trip (I keep the items I travel with consistent as well to be able to accurately compare the bags with each other) and I try to field test them as much as possible. Sometimes I won’t have flights for a while so I won’t always be able to test a travel bag out on different airlines for example, but I will at least make sure to take a multi day weekend trip with the same items i would take for a longer trip to try to get a close approximation of what it would be like to fly with the bag.

For daily bags I will use the bag with all the same items I carry with me on most days for a few weeks to see how the bag holds up and to see how the bag feels in real world use.

In the videos, I follow a similar format for all the reviews and will always fill the bag up with the items I used while testing it and then step through each feature of the bag on video and explain what I thought while using the bag and if I ran into any issues that I think people should know about.

It will typically take me at least 3 – 4 weeks to review a bag, but sometimes longer depending on whether I have many different bags I’m trying to review at the same time or if I don’t have a trip planned that would allow me to accurately test something like a travel pack.

What are your favorite bags?

There have been so many incredible bags that I have been able to test out on the channel, but some of the bags that really standout to me are the Aer Travel Pack, the Nomatic Travel Bag, and the Goruck GR1 / GR2. These bags have all impressed me with how well thought out they are, their overall look, their comfort and the overall value they offer.

I’ll typically pick a bag to use depending on how much I need to carry at a given time and what environment I’m going to be in. So if I’m going to travel for a few days for work and I know I’ll be in meetings I may take something a little more business appropriate whereas if I’m only carrying a few things to work from a coffee shop for a few hours or something like that I may take something a little smaller or that doesn’t have quite as much organization.

My current go to bags are the Goruck GR1, the Aer Fit Pack 2, and the 5.11 Rapid Quad Zip Pack. However, if there is a bag I need to review I will use that for a while to be able to get a good handle on it to provide an accurate review.

As for my EDC I always typically carry my phone, wallet (Nomatic / BASICS Wallet), pocket knife (Kershaw Shuffle II), Fisher Space Pen, and Maglite Solitaire flashlight.

How do people use your reviews?

I think people appreciate the amount of detail I go into in my reviews. I really try to make sure they are able to see everything so that they can make an informed decision before committing to any bag. I also really try to talk about and compare bags that I feel are similar so that people can have a few additional ideas of bags they might want to check out and that might suit their needs better.


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